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TV Guide interview with Louise Sorel
Topic Started: Oct 20 2009, 10:17 AM (2,080 Views)
Ellie


http://www.tvguidemagazine.com/soaps/louise-sorel-october-surprise-2884.html

Louise Sorel: October Surprise

by Michael Logan October 20, 2009 08:55 AM EST

Something wicked this way comes. The great Louise Sorel is returning to Days of Our Lives as Vivian Alamain, the eccentric wacko who famously buried Carly Manning (Crystal Chappell) alive back in 1993. When we first see Vivian on October 30, she will have just received the ashes of her nephew, Lawrence (Michael Sabatino), who was recently killed by Carly. So what does our favorite Salem witch have planned? A dish best served cold? Sorel gives us the scoop on her eagerly-awaited homecoming.

Can we safely assume Vivian is back with revenge in mind?
Thatís the plan. Carly has rudely stabbed Lawrence with a knife. Iím not sure why. He had some sort of illness or he turned into another personÖI donít quite understand the plot but itís something like that. Carly will get caught in the murder but Vivian has her exonerated by having someone else confess to the crime.Vivian wants to be the one who tortures Carly.

People still talk about the buried-alive plot. Hard to believe itís been 16 years.
Itís all a blur. I was in the hospital [eight years ago] with Crystal when she gave birth to her first child, Jake, and I just saw him for the first time since then. I canít believe how the time has passed! Crystal and Michael look so beautiful. Well, she has always been one of the great beauties but he now has this wild wonderful look about him. Like a mad prince. And my son! You know, the one Vivian gave birth to, like, 14 years ago? Have you seen this Jay Johnson whoís playing the role? He is so beautiful I canít bear it. Heís extraordinary. He looks like an English poem. I just canít stop staring at the man! Wow.

Are you in shock with the new low-budget way of making soaps?
Thereís no rehearsal anymore! Scary, scary, scary. Iíve never worked without two or three run-throughs and, my first big day, they gave me all these wildly complex mouthfuls to say Ė I felt like Danny Kaye trying to spew out ďThe vessel with the pestle.Ē I was absolutely terrified! But I got through it. What else can you do?

The offer to return to Days wasnít great timing for you Ė it came just months after you moved out of Los Angeles and made New York your sole residence.
I was so settled in New York. Now I feel like Iím having an out-of-body experience. I loathe it here in L.A. Itís like the Thomas Wolfe thing. I donít feel like Iím me. In fact, Iíve started writing a piece about visiting L.A. I call myself Thomasina Wolfe. Sheís like my other self and Iím showing her around town. Itís hard to explain.

What made you say yes?
Frankly, I donít know. I was very unsettled by it. But you know actors! They call you with an invitation, and you still think you want to do this acting thing, and I did love the Vivian character. I canít believe itís been nine years since I played her. [Days exec producer] Gary Tomlin asked me to come back over the phone, sight unseen. He didnít ask me how Iím looking these days. For all he knew, Iíve gained 250 pounds.

Actually, a super-tubby Vivian would be a hoot. But producers arenít allowed to ask such things, are they?
Paul Rauch [Sorelís former flame and One Life to Live boss] would have asked me that! [Laughs] Heíd come right out and say ďHow do you look?Ē Anyway, I was at the point in my career where I thought I was toast. It was nice to know [Days] wanted to bring back my character. So I agreed to do it. It could be my last hurrah, I donít know. It was nice to be asked. It was nice that I didnít have to do the asking.

Your last role was on Passions five years ago. Did you feel youíd left the business? Or were your agents still looking for roles?
I guess they were but itís tough, the older you get. Fortunately or unfortunately, Iím not aging the way Iím supposed to. I donít look like Doris Roberts and other actresses in their 70s. Iím in this weird sort of gap. I still go the theater and love the performances. I have a lot of friends who no longer go because they arenít working and it drives them crazy to see people who have jobs. Theyíre jealous and they canít stand it. I donít get that.

Letís get back to your Passions gig. What the hell was that? [Creator/head writer] Jim Reilly had you playing a character who gutted tuna in a fish cannery but the part never amounted to anything. A true case of all guts, no glory.
I try to forget about it. The whole thing was revolting, simply revolting. I hadnít read the script. They offered me the role. I said yes. And then I get to the set at 6 AM and theyíve brought in pounds and pounds of fresh tuna and weíd have to cut their heads off. I was so nauseated.

What was Reilly thinking? Was it some sort of revenge?
I donít know. I canít speak for the dead. Iíve always wondered if he was mad at me after I won the Soap Opera Digest award and thanked him at the podium for ďwhatever heís smoking.Ē

Not possible. He thought it was hilarious. He told me so. He really did love that.
Well, then, I canít explain it. I was mortified, but what could I do? I was there so I did it, though I almost puked every morning. I could not believe I was doing what I was doing Ė me who loves animals!

So itís good thatís not the way your career ended, right?
[Laughs so hard she snorts] Yes! Instead of ending with a bang, my career could have ended with a big tuna splat!

Reilly was a notorious recluse. Did you ever meet him when he was writing for you at Days?
We passed in the hall at NBC once. He nodded, but he didnít speak to me. I never actually met the man. From the little I know about him, I understand he was terribly witty and quite fun to be with. I also knew about his Irish Catholicism and could see it coming out in the writing, and some of it was Ė whoa Ė really, really dark.

I could never figure out how someone who was so funny and personable and such a great raconteur could be so socially inhibited.
It made sense to me. That kind of wonderful and robust outward humor is not really sharing oneself with people. He had his demons and I think thatís why he removed himself. You could tell a lot about his feelings about women in much of his writing and the stories he did. I think he had a hard time being truly one-on-one with anybody.

Things sort of went south with Vivian toward the end of your previous run. Reilly had you dressing up in the most nonsensical get-ups Ė it eventually became goofiness for the sake of goofiness. What was all that about?
I donít know. I did take that problem upstairs to the producersí office. I said, ďWhat has happened to Vivian? She used to be sophisticated and intelligent!Ē I guess I probably bent a few egos because I understand now that one of the people I was [complaining to] was actually doing some of the writing. But it was a fair question. I did everything they asked me to do. Full out. No matter what. Iíve been bald. Iíve been a bag lady. Iíve been Elvis. I was a hyperthyroid Mary Had a Little Lamb. I even dressed up as a box of french fries. It was coming out of nowhere but thatís what you get paid to do and I did it.

With this return, will they get back to the real Vivian Ė someone whoís not committing crimes because sheís hopped up on Chinese meds or acting bipolar because Stefano gave her a mood-alerting tooth implant? Who is the real Vivian?
Sheís passionate and fearless. I donít think she was ever intended to be that funny Ė that began to happen after Reilly came to Days. You know, they tried to get rid of me. I think I originally signed for a year but at the end of five months they called my agent and said they were dropping me. But they called too late [per the terms of the contract] and they would have had to keep paying me so, begrudgingly, they kept me on the air. But then thatís when Reilly came in and started writing and, before long, Vivian took off with the fans.

It can be argued that the buried-alive plot changed the soap business forever, and not necessarily for the good. It was spectacularly well written and acted Ė you and Crystal kept it grounded in a reality that somehow made it play believably Ė but before long Satan was possessing Marlena, vampires were taking over Port Charles and Guiding Light was cloning Reva.
I didnít watch the other shows Ė still donít Ė so I didnít know what impact that story had. Crystal committed, I committed, thatís what made it work. Also Reilly had gradually paved the way for that story, preparing the audience so he could go that way on a show that used to be much more normal. He took his time setting it up. You canít do the same sort of thing on, say, As the World Turns. It canít come from nowhere. Itís like Seinfeld Ė not that Iím comparing the two Ė where they gradually crafted the characters to the point where they could do the most insane things. It was genius. And thatís where Reilly was smart. He didnít just throw in a premature burial. He made it work.


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Paxton
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Dreaming of a Melanie-free Days

That was a really entertaining interview. Yes, Louise, I have seen JKJ and yes, he is gorgeous, so I hope hope hope that Philip is actually getting a decent story with Vivian and can extricate himself from the Quad of Doom.

Thanks for posting, Ellie!
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dc cubs
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Great interview. I can't wait for Vivian to be back on screen to see what she has in store for Carly!
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Deleted User
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Ew, she dated Paul Rauch. What horrid, HORRID taste!
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lastDays
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Amello
Oct 20 2009, 10:40 AM
Ew, she dated Paul Rauch. What horrid, HORRID taste!
Talk about silly stories.She dated the guy who turned OLTL into a joke with that cringe worthy "Eterna" story :puke: Great interview.She will be an awesome addition to Days once again.
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Mason
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Ellie
Oct 20 2009, 10:17 AM
Carly will get caught in the murder but Vivian has her exonerated by having someone else confess to the crime. Vivian wants to be the one who tortures Carly.
Ooh, I love this!
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DrewHamilton
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I'm kind of disappointed he didn't ask her about Ivan. I'm pretty sure it's already been confirmed that Ivan won't be returning with Vivian, but I wanted to hear what Sorel thought about it.

Quote:
 
Can we safely assume Vivian is back with revenge in mind?
Thatís the plan. Carly has rudely stabbed Lawrence with a knife. Iím not sure why. He had some sort of illness or he turned into another personÖI donít quite understand the plot but itís something like that. Carly will get caught in the murder but Vivian has her exonerated by having someone else confess to the crime.Vivian wants to be the one who tortures Carly.

Wow. So Vivian has someone else confess to killing Lawrence just so she can go after Carly herself. I love it!

Quote:
 
People still talk about the buried-alive plot. Hard to believe itís been 16 years.
Itís all a blur. I was in the hospital [eight years ago] with Crystal when she gave birth to her first child, Jake, and I just saw him for the first time since then. I canít believe how the time has passed! Crystal and Michael look so beautiful. Well, she has always been one of the great beauties but he now has this wild wonderful look about him. Like a mad prince. And my son! You know, the one Vivian gave birth to, like, 14 years ago? Have you seen this Jay Johnson whoís playing the role? He is so beautiful I canít bear it. Heís extraordinary. He looks like an English poem. I just canít stop staring at the man! Wow.

Her comment about Johnson had me laughing. I can't wait to see Vivian and Philip's first scene together.

Quote:
 
Letís get back to your Passions gig. What the hell was that? [Creator/head writer] Jim Reilly had you playing a character who gutted tuna in a fish cannery but the part never amounted to anything. A true case of all guts, no glory.
I try to forget about it. The whole thing was revolting, simply revolting. I hadnít read the script. They offered me the role. I said yes. And then I get to the set at 6 AM and theyíve brought in pounds and pounds of fresh tuna and weíd have to cut their heads off. I was so nauseated.

Fuck her PSNS role. What was the character's name? Dort?! That was so stupid.

Quote:
 
Things sort of went south with Vivian toward the end of your previous run. Reilly had you dressing up in the most nonsensical get-ups Ė it eventually became goofiness for the sake of goofiness. What was all that about?
I donít know. I did take that problem upstairs to the producersí office. I said, ďWhat has happened to Vivian? She used to be sophisticated and intelligent!Ē I guess I probably bent a few egos because I understand now that one of the people I was [complaining to] was actually doing some of the writing. But it was a fair question. I did everything they asked me to do. Full out. No matter what. Iíve been bald. Iíve been a bag lady. Iíve been Elvis. I was a hyperthyroid Mary Had a Little Lamb. I even dressed up as a box of french fries. It was coming out of nowhere but thatís what you get paid to do and I did it.

I bet the producer she's talking about is Tom Langan.
Edited by DrewHamilton, Oct 20 2009, 11:34 AM.
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darraholic
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Ikagoddess <3

Great interview.
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Kenny
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Mason
Oct 20 2009, 11:14 AM
Ellie
Oct 20 2009, 10:17 AM
Carly will get caught in the murder but Vivian has her exonerated by having someone else confess to the crime. Vivian wants to be the one who tortures Carly.
Ooh, I love this!
Me too. I'm so excited for it!
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Kevc1980
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Excellent interview. I'm shocked that she was almost let go from Days in her first year. Thank god the character took off so well. I'm very excited she is back.
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Alligato
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Holy cow, that was the most honest interview I have read in a long time. That woman just puts it out there, no apologies! I love it!

Super psyched about seeing Vivian again! Sounds like there are good plans with her and Carly.
And honestly, I am starting to have faith that the writers can handle this. I am happy with the way they handled the baby set up and reveal, so there is hope.
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Liz<3Days
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I love LS and Viv! I'm so glad that at least I have her to look forward to watching while AZ has mat. leave! I do so hope JKJ has lots of scenes with her. He seems to excel when playing opposite veteran actors!
Thanks for posting!
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DrewHamilton
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Am I the only sad Ivan won't be returning as well?
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Kenny
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DrewHamilton
Oct 20 2009, 12:53 PM
Am I the only sad Ivan won't be returning as well?
I'm sad for nostalgic reasons.
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darraholic
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Ikagoddess <3

It sucks Ivan won't be back. But he did win the lottery. I doubt he'd be working for Vivian anymore.
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Liz<3Days
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I think the actor has been in the movies. I remember seeing him in Terminator: Salvation. Although I liked Ivan, I think they are going in a different direction with Viv. He was playing the comic foil, so maybe tptb didnt think he would work in this SL?
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Dr. Chip


In the Buzzworthy interview she did, Louise was asked about Ivan. She said she hadn't talked to him in a long time but thought he had been in a movie. Someone had named their fish Ivan, and she said she would love to tell him that if she ever spoke to him again.

What really excited her was a suggestion by someone (the interviewer? a caller?) that Nicolas Coster should come to DAYS as her new lover/sidekick. Among his many soap roles, he played Lionel to her Augusta on SANTA BARBARA.
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Lucid
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I can't wait to see her on screen, Vivian vs. Carly is going to be epic (I hope)
Good interview, wish Ivan was coming back with Madame ;)
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DrewHamilton
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Liz<3Days
Oct 20 2009, 01:37 PM
I think the actor has been in the movies. I remember seeing him in Terminator: Salvation. Although I liked Ivan, I think they are going in a different direction with Viv. He was playing the comic foil, so maybe tptb didnt think he would work in this SL?
But Ivan has been there from the beginning. He was there before Vivian showed up in Salem. So he was there when the origianl Vivian was around and not the comic relief she and he became towards the end of their run. I could totally see him fitting in.
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Matt
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Classic Soap Fan

See, I've said for years that they should recast Bill & Laura Horton with Nicolas Coster & Judith McConnell, bringing back an appropriately aged Mike Horton (who, really, should be about 50ish). I could see Vivian going after Bill (significally irritating Kate) and Laura finding solace with Victor (significantly irritating Kate) and Kate going after Mike (significantly irritating both Bill & Laura). So many possibly ties to multiple generations of storylines.
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